Ramblings of the Mad Cow » Rants

 
    
Not a good day to be a Democrat in DeSoto County

Anyone else have a little trouble at the polls yesterday? From Eye Witness News

Voting Problems in DeSoto County
Reported by: Jeni DiPrizio
Contributor: Adrienne Phillips

Mississippians are headed to the polls for the presidential and congressional primaries, but some DeSoto County voters say there has been a shortage of Democratic ballots. The turnout for the primaries was heavier than expected and Eyewitness News Everywhere talked to many angry voters who did not understand why there was a shortage.Some voters say they were told they would have to come back to the polls because workers kept running out of Democratic ballots.”I thought something was crooked. I can’t understand why at 10:30, why they didn’t have any ballots,” said voter Jack Moore.”We did not begin to estimate the number of people… we are printing them up as fast as we can,” said Carl Payne with the DeSoto County Election Commission.In the last presidential primary, election officials say only a little more than 300 people voted in the Democratic primary. This year, 3,000 ballots were printed, but that was not enough.   

 
    
Don’t shop in DeSoto County!

And if you absolutely have to, don’t use any plastic!

In case you’ve been living under a rock, thieves are stealing debit and credit card numbers from local retailers here in DeSoto County. And I think I know at least one way they could be doing it. I’m blogging (ranting) about it again because as of yet no one has done anything to fix it. I see at least two separate hits from Verifone.com, but no one has as yet removed the document they put on line outlining how to hack wireless networks in place at retail locations that utilize their terminals. And the worst part, I found this document via Google!!!!! What genius puts an internal security document online for the whole world to see? I know if anyone did that where I worked, they’d be fired tout de suite! I’ve outlined how I found it, how others have found it, but I hadn’t posted the link here. Til now. Obviously no one cares about my money more than me, but it’s about time someone claiming to be a company responsible for securely transmitting data about my money is held accountable. So here goes. Check out PCI Req Protecting Cardholder Information written by Jeff Wakefield, Vice President Marketing, Integrated Systems Verifone. It’s a pdf copy of a PowerPoint presentation outlining security issues with credit/debit card terminals and PCI compliance. It’s a little wordy for my taste, but it does get really interesting around slide 50. I love the way it outlines exactly which exploits work and then the directory location of log files containing stored credit/debit card data. Makes for some interesting potty reading.

Now, will removing the offending document from the web fix the problem? Of course not. But if they put measures in place to make sure this never happens again, and then work with merchants to fix the measures outlined in the document maybe, just maybe it’ll make it a little more difficult for anybody with a laptop and a wireless card to steal my debit card number and clean out my bank account. This isn’t the only way that these things get stolen. But let’s not make it easier for the crooks, ok?

 
    
They’re sueing Google for, well, Googling

They want to sue a search engine for providing links to articles that actually pertain to the search terms? Are you kidding me?

From ABC.net.au

Real estate agents launch defamation action against Google

Posted Fri Feb 8, 2008 6:44pm AEDT

Two Victorian real estate agents have launched a defamation action against the search engine company Google.

Counsel for agents Mark Forytarz and Paul Castran of Castran Gilbert, appeared in the Supreme Court today for a directions hearing, alleging their clients have been defamed by articles found via Google searches.

The plaintiffs claim the articles suggest Mr Forytarz bullied an intellectually disabled man into selling his home in order to claim a commission of at least $200,000.

It is claimed the article paints Mr Forytarz as unscrupulous and unethical and he suffered distress embarrassment and humiliation as a result.

They also claim another article alleges Mr Castran used dummy bidders to inflate the prices of the properties he sold.

They claim they asked Google to remove links to the articles late last year, but no effective action was taken.

They will return to court in March.

If they were to win this, and I can’t imagine they will, it would render search engines useless. Imagine trying to protest something or someone online only to have the link to your comments, criticism, whatever removed because the person you’re commenting on didn’t like what you had to say. The whole point of the web is the free exchange of ideas. Search engines were designed to make the web not just easier to navigate, but to make the web worth anything. Without search engines and keywords no website gets any traffic and websites are rendered useless. I mean, what good is a billboard if no one can find it to see it?

 
    
Update on my identity loselessness

Ok, I’m doing all this research into who, how and when my credit card got hijacked and I came across some very interesting information. The terminals that I usually see in the stores I frequent are wireless PIN terminals from Verifone. They’re the kind that you swipe your card through and then put your PIN in and hit enter. Sometimes you have to verify the price, do you want cash back, blah, blah, but they’re all pretty much the same. So I do some Googling to see what I can find out about Verifone, and guess what I found! You’ll never guess. I found specific instructions on which exploits to use and where the card numbers are logged at retail locations using Verifone wireless terminals. And I didn’t find this out on any “hacker” site. I found it published online, not protected at all, on Verifone’s website. Brilliant! I’m hoping that someone at Verifone sees this and takes it offline. And then I’m’ hoping that they’ll fix it with the retailers so that my credit/debit card info isn’t quite so easy to find. I mean, the damage is done where I’m concerned, but I’m getting a ton of help from Regions, so I’m not worried about getting my money back. I do however want this fixed, like yesterday, so that I can go back to using plastic! I’m hating having to use cash for everything!

*PS. Can I prove that this is how my card number got lifted? Of course not. But if I can find the instructions online, anyone can. And I have trouble believing that this many people, myself included, in a community this size got their pockets picked the old fashioned way.

 
    
It’s official, I’ve been identity thefted

Yep, it happened. The great DeSoto county crime ring that’s been sucking up credit card numbers via unsecured wireless networks found in local retail stores has zapped me too. It sucks. And considering all I know about wireless networks and attacks I feel like I should have known better. Believe me, from now on though when I see a wireless card scanner or PIN terminal, I will whip out the cash. This won’t happen to me again. I learned enough over the weekend researching how this happened to scare me into forgoing the plastic from now on.

 
    

It seems that last week while doing some minor league grocery shopping at my local grocery store, my debit card number got hijacked.  My bank caught it, and we’re going round and round trying to get money straightened out.  I was completely caught off guard, trying to figure out what I did wrong to make this happen.  Was I holding my card so everyone could see it?  Did I say my PIN outloud while I typed it?  Well, a quick Google search showed me that the criminals didn’t stand and look over my shoulder, they looked at the grocer’s wireless network.  I found very simple instructions on how to hack the network found at my local grocer online.

I’ve got to file a police report today, and I’ll post more about all the gory details after I talk to the cops.

 
    
How is this guy a ‘front runner’?

Can someone explain to me how so many people are considering electing Mitt Romney President of this great nation? I mean, this is a man that actually strapped a dog carrier, with the dog inside, to the top of his station wagon and drove to Canada. Nope, I’m not making it up. He drove for 12 hours with an Irish Setter strapped to the top of his car. He only stopped to clean the poor dog’s poop off the car. Imagine that, that dog was scared to the point of pooping all over the car. What is wrong with people? I mean, what is so wrong in his brain that he would think for a second that it’s alright to make his dog ride on top of the car? And what the hell is wrong with the Americans at the polls that have him doing so well in the primaries? I’m just sick to death thinking that someone with so little regard for the health and welfare of his own pet, not to mention animal rights in general, has an actual shot at leading this country. Blech.

 
    
He’s got great big brass cajunas!

Not only did this guy hit a kid on a bike with his car and kill him, he then turned around and sued the kid’s family, for the damage to his car!

From CNN

Driver drops bid to sue family of boy he killed
HARO, Spain (CNN) — A Spanish businessman withdrew a controversial lawsuit Wednesday against the family of a teenage boy he struck and killed while driving a luxury car.

Tomas Delgado had filed a suit asking the dead boy’s parents to pay him €20,000 ($29,400) on the grounds that the collision that killed their teenage son also damaged his Audi A-8.

News of the case sparked outrage in Spain and generated deep sympathy for the parents of 17-year-old Enaitz Iriondo Trinidad. He was riding his bicycle home to a campground when Delgado’s car hit and killed him in August 2004.

Hundreds of people descended on a courthouse in northern Spain in a show of support for the boy’s parents Wednesday. They broke into applause when word came that Delgado had dropped the suit.

The businessman had insisted in a recent television interview that he was a victim, too. He was not present for a court hearing Wednesday. His lawyer told the court that Delgado felt that the extensive publicity amounted to a public lynching.

……..

A traffic report said Delgado was traveling 113 km per hour (70 mph) in an area where the speed limit is 90 km (55 mph). An independent expert hired by Trinidad’s family said Delgado was going 173 km per hour (107 mph).

Shortly after the collision, a judge dismissed criminal charges against Delgado after concluding that he had committed no criminal infraction, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.

The teen’s mother, Rosa, told the newspaper that the family was given three days to appeal the judge’s ruling, but they were too distraught to pursue it. She also told the newspaper that her family’s lawyer advised her and her husband not to pursue criminal charges.

After the collision, Delgado’s insurance company paid the family €33,000 ($48,500).

Two years after the wreck, Delgado sued the family for damages to his car and for car rental cost.

Wow. Just wow. I can’t imagine having such an attitude where he’s not just amazed that he’s out walking around free, he actually believes that the family is at fault for any damage to his car. Amazing. Humans never cease to amaze me.

 
    

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